The indescribable truth of the enchanted

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“Happy Working Song” sees Giselle summoning the local animals to help her happily clean Robert’s apartment. However, since this is New York and not Andalucia, Giselle’s usual friendly woodland fauna is replaced by rats, pigeons, and cockroaches. One would assume that these creatures are computer-animated, inserted into the frame in post-production. Some of them are, but a surprising number are real trained animals.

The “Fantasy Come To Life: The Making of Enchanted” mini-doc sheds light on the many moving parts involved in bringing the sequence to life. “There were rats trained to sit, rats trained to scoot, rats trained to sniff,” Amy Adams said of her furry co-stars. “So these are very talented rats.” Re-watching the scene and knowing that these are real the rodents scurrying across the floor is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine.

As important as the animals are, their involvement was only the tip of the iceberg in this complex production number. For the moments without real animals, Adams had to pretend the empty room was full of activity, which sometimes required some movie magic. For example, one shot called for the star to be strapped to a platform that twirled her dress in a whimsical motion, which in the finished film would be accompanied by computer-animated birds lifting up the fabric.

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